The Saturday Writing Quote — on listening


“Few people . . . have had much training in listening. The training of most oververbalized professional intellectuals is in the opposite direction. Living in a competitive culture, most of us are most of the time chiefly concerned with getting our own views across, and we tend to find other people’s speeches a tedious interruption of the flow of our own ideas.”

— S.I. Hayakawa, Symbol, Status, and Personality 32 (1963) (via Bryan Garner, author of Garner’s Modern American Usage, in his blog)

(photo: my garden, May 2014)

The Saturday Writing Quote — Natalie Goldberg on listening

“Writing is ninety percent listening. … you listen so deeply to the space around you that it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you. If you can capture that reality around you, your writing needs nothing else. You don’t only listen to the person speaking to you across the table but simultaneously try to listen to the air, the chair, and the door.”

– Natalie Goldberg, in Writing Down the Bones